Beyond the athletes there have been a common history of the Olympics toward poor people and people with disabilities. In 1988, I was chosen to represent USA in the Seoul Korea Paralympics that happens after the Olympics for disabled athletes. I was only a teenager in 1988. Not until April 19th/2016 I read KIM TONG-HYUNG’S and FOSTER KLUG’S article entitled AP: S. Korea covered up mass abuse, killings of ‘vagrants’ and realized that poor people and people with disabilities in Seoul Korea were forced to disappear before the Olympics started and in Kim’s & Foster’s article it said “many poor and disabled people were force in concentration camps and brutally abused far away from the Olympics games.”
During & after the 2012 London, England Olympics, the conservative party in parliament were attacking disability income, in-home support services and the arts while channel 4 showed the Superhumans commercial with Public Enemy’s song, Harder Than You Think. Before, during and after the 2012 Olympics/Paralympics people with disabilities have been and still are met with heavy police abuse as they protest the harsh budget cuts in life and death services. Krip-Hop Nation performed our song, Politricks in Da Mix, to talk back to what people with disabilities were going through at the 2014 DADA Festival in Liverpool, UK. Here is my verse of that song.
Politricks in mix (repeat 3times)
The 2012 Olympics came & went
The media sold us one side
Corporations’ oppressive hand on the other side
A different message was sent
Even Hip-Hop got involved in the Paralympics
While London police punch & kick
The prime minister says, “that we are all in this together!”
Yeah sure many have to wonder
While he collects a paycheck
And with the other hand cutting disability benefits
Going back to the days of Margaret Thatcher
Disabled people living outside cause our oppressor
The Conservative Party’s attacks
While the wealthy pats them on the back
trying to bring back the ugly laws
Krip-Hop rapping about their flaws
Don’t get fool by politicks in the mix
Politricks in mix (repeat 3times)
Still today four years after the London’s Olympics people with disabilities are still fighting the parliament for their right and services as they continue to cut services and many disabled people are now houselsess. So where did all the promises of making the city more accessible with housing and arts after four years after the London’s Olympics?
Before the 2016 Rio Olympics, I was in contact with some disabled poor Brazilians over the internet however a week before the Olympics their internet surprisingly went down however through mainstream news I found out about massive protests against the Olympics, the outbreak of Zika virus and September 5th/2016 article by Donna Bowater and Priscilla Moraes all paints a bleak picture of Brazilians with disabilities. Inadequate accessibility is only one of the ways in which disabled people are discriminated against in Rio. I have interview two Hip-Hop artists who are wheelchair users in the city of Sao Paulo. Both Moyses Martins and Billy Saga has music videos showing how hard it is to get around in Sao Paulo, Brazil as a wheelchair user.
Now that the 2016 Rio’s Olympics is over and the Paralympics is also over, what would be the future of Brazilians with disabilities especially with the impeachment of Dilma Rousseff under the Workers’ Party to the new president, Michel Miguel Elias Temer who is a lot more conservative and has threaten to cut services and more.
It seems the aftermath of the London Olympics are repeating itself in 2016 in Brazil. Like in London, people with and without disabilities in Rio and Sao Paulo are still in the streets asking what happen to all those bling bling Olympics promises of more accessible roads, buildings, housing, jobs and more. In the lyrics of Hip-Hop artist with a disability, Billy Saga, I leave you with verses from his verses from his song, Phoenix. Stay tune for their interviews.
PHOENIX ( By Billy Saga)
People, spaces, extracts, values
Scarce resources, vested reconstructs
Life is economy’s slave gear
More math, less philosophy
And who would say that so much technology
Would not stop hunger, nor the oligarchy
Bob Marley always said “Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery”
mental slavery is your ideology
LIT FUSE ( By Billy Saga)
Obese egos, anorexic minds
Latin America for my rights is dyslexic
Hysterical anti-peripheral campaign
Homeric supplication, generic public policy